Heart Thread Yoga Public Relations Campaign

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1. Ashley Ahl ã Maegan Bull ã Lauren Muldoon ã Kathryn O’ Hara ã Marlowe Padilla ã Irma Perez ã Alane Schmelkin ã Emily Wolfson Public Relations Proposal…
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  • 1. Ashley Ahl • Maegan Bull • Lauren Muldoon • Kathryn O’ Hara • Marlowe Padilla • Irma Perez • Alane Schmelkin • Emily Wolfson Public Relations Proposal by “THE JOURNEY” H E A R T T H R E A D Y O G A OUS Lmedia TM
  • 2. Public Relations Proposal Submitted December 7, 2015 H E A R T T H R E A D Y O G A
  • 3. Heart Thread Yoga Rachel VerValin, Owner 607-222-1726 Heartthreadyoga@gmail.com www.heartthreadyoga.com Agency Contact Info: Ashley Ahl aahl1@ithaca.edu Maegan Bull mbull1@ithaca.edu Lauren Muldoon lmuldoo1@ithaca.edu Kathryn O’Hara kohara1@ithaca.edu Marlowe Padilla mpadill1@ithaca.edu Irma Perez iperez1@ithaca.edu Alane Schmelkin aschmelkin@ithaca.edu Emily Wolfson ewolfso1@ithaca.edu
  • 4. Table of Contents 4. About the Agency 5. Executive Summary 6. Situation Analysis 7. Competitor Analysis 8. SWOT Analysis 10. Secondary Research 12. Objectives 13. Target Audience 16. Strategies 17. Tactics 26. Evaluation 27. Timetable 28. Budget 32. Agency Biographies 36. Appendix Table of Contents 37. Appendix
  • 5. About the Agency SOUL MEDIA is an up and coming Public Relations agency looking to give our clients the best that they deserve. Based in Ithaca, NY, Soul Media strives to add “color” to the Public Relations industry. With careful research, strategic planning, and creative insight, our agency turns imagination into reality. We be- lieve that the best PR campaigns tell a story. Let SOUL MEDIA bring yours to life. OUS Lmedia TM
  • 6. Executive Summary SOUL Media has been given the exciting opportunity to establish Heart Thread Yoga as the dominant yoga experience for pregnant woman in Ithaca, New York. As Heart Thread Yoga expands in the Ithaca community, our goals are to increase awareness of the benefits of prenatal yoga, establish Heart Thread as the premiere choice for prenatal yoga, and build a strong, enduring client base. Heart Thread Yoga caters towards pregnant women who want to stay healthy during their pregnancy and beyond. Here at SOUL media we view the journey from prenatal to postnatal as an important part of life. Heart Thread Yoga offers yoga classes to women in each stage of the pregnancy journey, which is why we chose to focus our campaign efforts on The Journey that each pregnant woman goes through. Within this proposal, we provide solutions to the challenges that Heart Thread Yoga currently faces. We have established our Journey campaign to meet the goals and objectives set to provide long term suc- cess for the company. We have also created many marketing initiatives that we believe will help further achieve Heart Thread’s goals and objectives. We want to extend a huge thank you to Rachel VerValin, founder of Heart Thread Yoga, who has given us the opportunity to create a campaign for her amazing brand. We greatly appreciate the time and ef- fort she took to meet with us, answer our questions, and inspire us to create a campaign that we believe will further her mission. Sincerely, SOUL Media 5
  • 7. Situation Analysis Heart Thread Yoga is based in Ithaca, NY and is owned and operated by Rachel VerValin. As an athlete, Rachel turned to yoga as a method of working out during her undergraduate years. She began practicing a variety of different styles of yoga with many different teachers, yet Vinyasa is what she fell in love with. Rachel began teaching in January of 2011, after receiving her 200 hour certi- fication. A few years later, in May of 2013, she furthered her studies at Integral Yoga In- stitute where she successfully received her 85 hour Prenatal Yoga certification. One year lat- er in May 2014 Rachel created Heart Thread Yoga. She accomplished this dream with the inspiration and support from her communi- ty. Rachel strives to create a nurturing en- vironment where her students can learn and practice yoga. With classes that are filled with laughter, hard work, and great mu- sic, Rachel creates a comfortable space for everyone. Rachel has a strong belief that a balanced body equals a balanced life! Heart Thread Yoga holds different classes every day of the week, including Relax & Flow Outdoor Yoga Saturday and Sunday mornings. The owner holds yoga class each with different styles that include Vinyasa Flow, Foundations/ Slow Flow/Relax & Flow, Rockin’ Flow, Prena- tal Flow, and Mommy + Me that all focus on different aspects of the benefits that doing yoga provides. Also, Rachel will be holding a New Year’s Rockin’ Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica that will be held December 28th till January 3rd, 2016. This package costs anywhere between $1250 for a triple room to $1950 for a sin- gle room, all excluding airfare. Rachel holds private as well as public classes available de- pending on the day and time. Rachel would like to focus on her prenatal classes, and the positive effects that this type of yoga has on an expecting mother. She considers herself one of the prenatal yoga experts in the Ithaca area. All classesaretaughtbyRachelVerValinherself,and sometimes includes the help of other instructors. RACHELVERVALIN,OWNER,HEARTTHREADYOGA 6
  • 8. Competitor Analysis Instructor: Diane Fine Price: $17/class, 4 class pack: $60 Time: Tuesday evenings Location: Fall Creek Neighborhood Positives: active on Facebook, introductory pass for new students, voted “Best Yoga Teacher” 2013 by the Ithaca Times annual “Best of Ithaca” survey, studio also offers birth prep workshops and yoga classes for mothers Negatives: not directly located in Downtown Ithaca Instructor: Audra Bartlett Price: $16/class, 4 class pass: $60 Time: Saturday afternoons Location: Ithaca Commons Positives: active on Facebook, also offer “baby and me” classes, instructor is a mother, offered on the weekends for busy women Negatives: outdated Twitter presence Instructor: Mariellen Brown Price: $15/class, 5 classes: $50 Time: Monday evenings Location: Jillian Drawer’s, Ithaca Commons Positives: Instructor is a mother, location offers other resources for mothers Negatives: does not have social media dedicated specifically to her yoga practice, not practiced in a studio 1 2 3 7
  • 9. SWOT Analysis Soul Media conducted a SWOT analysis to identify the current internal strengths and weaknesses as well as external opportuni- ties and threats. One of Heart Thread Yoga’s biggest strengths is its unique and diverse class offerings that cater to specific audiences, such as mothers, with classes like Prenatal Flow and Mommy + Me. There are outdoor classes as well as yoga retreats for those interested in more holistic experiences. Another strength is Rachel’s mobility; she teaches classes at both Mighty Yoga studio and Cornell University. Lastly, she offers private and group sessions along with group yoga for special clientele such as bachelorette parties and college sports teams. Apart from its many strengths, one of Heart Thread Yoga’s weaknesses is its limited class schedule. Rachel is the primary instructor, only sometimes receiving help from other instructors. In the Prenatal Flow class, there are currently two consistent clients, which we attribute to limited awareness of the benefits of practicing prenatal yoga and its local availability. While Heart Thread Yoga is present on the social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, they have relatively small followings and inconsistent posts. Given these strengths and weaknesses, we have also determined many external opportunities for the company. As mentioned, Heart Thread Yoga can gain better social media presence and appeal to a wider audience. Prenatal yoga is a growing trend and Heart Thread Yoga has the opportunity to establish itself as one of the primary places for customers to seek by offering rewards or providing incentives to retain customers. Heart Thread Yoga needs to find a way to differentiate itself from competitors, which can be done by adopting a philosophy or supporting a cause. It can also collaborate with competitors, such as Diane Fine who offers couples birth prep. Down the line, the brand can expand by appealing to a younger audience and reach out to college students in Ithaca. External threats that Heart Thread Yoga faces are its lack of brand presence in comparison to other yoga competitors. There are a number of prenatal yoga competitors so differentiation is key. Many Heart Thread Yoga classes, especially Prenatal Flow, focus on middle age to older women, which alienates college students from taking classes with Rachel. Overall, competitors have better ratings and more well-established presences on the Internet, spe- cifically Yelp. In fact, in a single Google search, Heart Thread Yoga does not come up on the first search page or the top ten Yoga places in Ithaca. 8
  • 10. SWOT Analysis STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES OPPORTUNITIES THREATS + Variety of yoga classes + Unique offerings-Prenatal Flow, Mommy + Me + Outdoor Yoga by Firelight + Winter yoga retreat in Costa Rica + Group yoga available for Bachelorette groups, College Sports Teams, and Sports Specific Classes + Multiple locations (Mighty Yoga, Cornell) + Appeal to younger audience (Reach out to college students) + Growing trend in Ithaca + Offer rewards or discounts to provide incentive and retain customers + Adopt philosophy or support a cause to differentiate + Collaborate with competitors, such as Diane Fine (offer couples birth prep workshop) - Unpopular (does not come up in the google search) > establish strong company awareness - Lots of prenatal yoga competitors (need to differentiate) - Focus is on older women only, alienates college students - Competitors have better ratings on Yelp - Jillian’s Drawers-Mary Ellen Brown teaches prenatal yoga classes - Limited class times - No Wednesday classes - Poor use of social media-Facebook, Instagram, Twitter - Two clients in Prenatal Flow classes - Limited local awareness of Prenatal Flow and the benefits 9
  • 11. Secondary Research Conducting secondary research was critical in determining appropriate objectives, strategies and tac- tics to utilize in our public relations campaign for Heart Thread Yoga. Heart Thread Yoga aims to provide women with opportunities to care for themselves during the pre-preg- nancy and post-pregnancy phases of life. Research has proven that staying active during pregnancy has many benefits for both the mother and baby. According to the founder of the company, Rachel VerValin, many women are unaware of the benefits of prenatal yoga. Many women think of exercising, but fail to associate yoga with a way to stay healthy during pregnancy. There is also a wide misconception among women as to the degree of safety of prenatal yoga for fear of injuring their baby. The yoga industry overall has been growing. It is estimated that there are 15 million Americans who practice yoga, with an average annual increase of 20%. In the past year there has been an 87% in- crease in monetary spending on yoga products, which illustrates the increase in popularity of yoga in society. This popularity growth has been displayed locally as well, as there has been an increase in the number of yoga studios and instructors available for individuals to choose from that all offer a range of services in the Ithaca area. 10
  • 12. Secondary Research Through our research we were able to identify yoga instructors in the Ithaca area that are in competition for Heart Thread Yoga’s key client base. Not all these instructors offer the same services, however there are key advantages and disadvantages with each. An analysis of each instructor helped us identify how Heart Thread Yoga can position itself in the market to stand out. Many of the competitors’ websites and social media accounts reveal testimonials from women about their positive experiences. According to these women, prenatal yoga was “the most important part of the preparation for labor” and “an invaluable experience”. Women are surprised at the benefits and helpfulness of prenatal yoga after they attend a class, which provides key insight for our proposal. Based on this information, Heart Thread Yoga has key opportunities to expand its prenatal yoga classes and opportunities for pregnant women. By educating women on the benefits and expanding its services, Heart Thread Yoga will be able to build and retain a loyal client base and continue to grow. 11
  • 13. Objectives To increase awareness of Prenatal Yoga benefits to position it as an essential element of pregnancy with the target audience. Rachel VerValin offers unique Prenatal Yoga classes that offer numerous benefits to an expecting mother. We hope to generate awareness around the benefits of prenatal yoga and position the classes as the go-to exercise for mothers-to-be. To increase awareness of client being “one of the prenatal experts” in the area. Rachel considers herself to one of the prenatal yoga experts within the Ithaca area. We hope to get the word out about this title to ensure trust within mothers-to-be that this yoga profession- al understands the importance of prenatal yoga. We want consumers to have confidence that they will be well taken care of when they come and take a class and that their instructor is well qualified. To build and retain a core client base for the offered yoga classes. Through our other objective of increasing awareness of the classes offered, we hope to build a larger clientele. We also plan on creating ways to ensure that these clients will return for more classes other than the initial prenatal class. We hope to increase positive word of mouth from current clients to increase the amount of traffic in classes. To develop a social media presence with a specific focus on “The Journey”. Our agency plans on developing strong social media efforts to increase the amount of aware- ness on these platforms. We will mostly focus on Facebook, because this is the best way to reach expecting mothers, but other platforms will be used as well such as Instagram and Twit- ter. We hope to use the campaign theme of “The Journey” to lead consumers to Heart Thread Yoga’s website and to increase the overall online presence. 1 2 3 4 The public relations plan for Heart Thread Yoga is designed to achieve the following objectives: 12
  • 14. Target Audience Our target audiences have been selected based on their ability to become customers of Prenatal Yoga classes taught by Rachel VerValin. Pregnant mothers are our primary target audience. Pregnant women, whether pregnant for the first time or veteran mom- mies, care for their health and are willing to do just about anything to improve their pregnancy and the health of their growing babies. Luckily, pregnant woman can immediately take prenatal yoga classes and can feel its benefits. We want to establish brand loyalty among this audience as well as in- crease awareness of our classes and the classes she provides. This demographic can be readily available to take one of our client’s prenatal classes, and these women will be especially willing to take the classes to improve their health and the health of their growing little one. The next target audience group we have chosen consists of mothers who have recently given birth. We have chosen this group to target due to their ability to understand the rollercoast- er-ride that is post-pregnancy life. This group knows that it can be hard to get back in shape after having a baby, and they are looking for ways to meet and relate with other mothers. This group can also spread the word to other mothers about the benefits of prenatal yoga. Our secondary target audience are those women who are think- ing about becoming pregnant. This group is new to the “baby” world, and there is a lot of information for them to research; it can be overwhelming for future mommies when learning about what is truly important to do during all the phases of pregnancy. We want this audience to understand that when they do become pregnant, prenatal yoga can offer them numerous benefits that will help them along this nine month journey. We hope to attract several local media outlets, such as newspapers and blogs. We plan to utilize several social media platforms to expand our campaign, as discussed in our tactics. Also, our campaign will be successful and spread further through word-of-mouth from past clients, as well as through the promotional materials discussed in our plan. The area of focus for this public relations campaign is in Ithaca, New York. This is where our client is located, and our audiences that we should primarily focus on are within this domain. However, with an expansion of the brand, our campaign could eventually be expanded to surrounding areas. 13
  • 15. Target Audience Meet Alyssa Olivia, 31, is incredibly excited to become a new mother. She works full-time as a teacher at her local elementary school, and has been dreaming about starting a fami- ly with her husband, Jake, for years. Olivia has spent a majority of her life being active – playing sports through- out high school, starting a club field hockey team at her university, and regularly going to the gym after grad- uating college – but has been worried about staying fit when she became pregnant. Over the last few months, Olivia has been reading up on how to stay healthy dur- ing pregnancy, and wants to find something to keep her body fit that will also benefit her growing little one. Alyssa, 27 and an art director, just gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Thomas about five months ago. She has been fawning over her little angel and absolutely adores him, but knows that she has to take care of herself as well. Alyssa has a group of close-knit friends who enjoy brunching and taking strolls through the park, but she would love to meet some women who understand the crazy lifestyle that comes with being a new mommy. Alyssa’s current goals are to get Thomas to say “mama” as his first word, and to get back to her pre-pregnancy weight without having to spend hundreds of hours at the gym. Meet OliviaPRIMARY TARGET PRIMARY TARGET 14
  • 16. Target Audience Meet Kelly Kelly, 33, has worked hard over the past decade to build her career, her home, and her relationship with her husband Karl. She enjoystryingnewthingstokeepherbusyandhealthy(liketryingnewrecipesandtakingclassesatherlocalreccenter)andlovesto go hiking with Karl and their German Shepherd, Doodle. But Kelly is ready to add the finishing touch to make her life even better: a beautifulbaby.KellyandKarlhavebeendiscussinghavingachildforyears,andthetwoareexcitedplanningforafuturepregnan- cy and everything that will come with having a family. Kelly isn’t really sure where to start, but is ready for her upcoming adventure. SECONDARY TARGET 15
  • 17. Strategies 1 2 4 Differentiate client classes/base by creating a comprehensive space for mothers. Heart Thread Yoga offers several services for a wide variety of individuals. Concentrating on distin- guishing the services for mothers as a separate part of the company will make it easier for mothers to see the opportunities offered for them. This will set Heart Thread Yoga apart from its competitors and help build a client base of women who will utilize the services both during pregnancy and beyond. Based on our research, we found that few women are aware of the positive effects of prenatal yoga. Due to this lack of knowledge, we have identified a missed opportunity for pregnant women. Educating women about the positive effects of prenatal yoga is the first step to increase awareness, and Heart Thread Yoga can use this opportunity to position itself as a reliable source of information and practice. It is crucial to gain awareness in the community to be successful. One of the most successful ways to do this is through word of mouth. Consumers are found to trust people that they can relate to whom are not directly related to the company. We believe by reaching out to bloggers in the area we
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